John Wall’s Productive Saturday
Forgive the music in the above highlight reel — I guess people love to show off their ability to manipulate video-production software with mundane hip hop tracks — and focus on the plays instead. What we have is oft-hyped Kentucky Wildcats guard John Wall and his virtuoso performance against Rider this past Saturday. While living up to his considerable hype to the tune of 21 points, 11 assists, six rebounds and two steals, Wall also snared ESPN’s Player of the Week honors, leading the Wildcats to a 3-0 start.
What these stats don’t show is how Wall collected them. Relying a great deal on a water bug-like open court game that showed off cross-overs, 360 degree layups and the type of speed most only dream about, Kentucky’s vaunted freshman continues to turn heads and impress.
Wall’s transition to college, save the two-game suspension, has been fairly seamless. He’s quickly positioned himself as an extension of John Calipari on the floor and is a big reason Kentucky finds itself in the top five nationally. Wall’s presence, as well as the other newcomers like Daniel Orton and DeMarcus Cousins, has also freed up preseason All American Patrick Patterson to post some incredibly productive numbers as well.
For instance, against Rider, Patterson had 19 points and 19 rebounds, all while sitting the last five minutes of the game. For the season, Patterson is averaging 19 points and 12 rebounds, showing he clearly welcomes his new teammates and will take advantage of the opportunities their presence allows him. An easier way to say it is now that Patterson has teammates of a similar skill-set, his beast-like tendencies have blossomed into full-on beast mode.
Of course, having a guard as dynamic as Wall initiating the plays — again, he had 11 assists against Rider — goes a long way in relation to improved teammate performances.